LIVS, Stockholm

In October 2018 my friends Martin Ljungqvist and Miriam Bensafiddine opened the doors to LIVS – a restaurant at Bjurholmsgatan 18 in the south district of Stockholm. LIVS is a dream come true for Martin and Miriam, it’s a family business with an ambition to create an ‘at-home’ feeling – and they certainly nailed it!

As I entered the venue Martin greeted me with a smile. A regular ordered the duck at the table next to the bar and at the bar-disk another regular enjoyed a glass of red wine. I parked myself next to her at the bar, and I asked Martin about their beers. LIVS is a restaurant focused on food and craft beer. Their wine selection is modest but genuine. Their cocktail list consists (so far) of long drinks and the only advancement in that area they might agree to stretch to is perhaps serving Negronis and Old Fashioneds, eventually. I mentioned a Daiquiri might be nice come spring, and Martin then replied with: “Well, then we need to squeeze lime and shit.” Fair enough! This is not a cocktail bar – and it shouldn’t be. It’s a beer bar. They do beer, and they do it because they love it and they’re damn good at it. So I’m just gonna shut up about the cocktails and simply leave them with their expertise and passion, and with that chilled kind of family way they do things at LIVS. And I mean, I love beer too, so alles in ordnung, hey!

Martin went through their menu of craft beer on tap and I decided to go with what I thought was the least safe card: Nerdbrewing- Implements Imperial Chocolate Truffle Stout – Cinnamon & Licorice edition. You see, I’m not that fond of licorice, but I did fancy a stout since I’d been aiming for their oysters since October – and the stout-oyster combination is on the other hand a safe card, indeed. At my visit they served Fine de Normandie No. 3 with Oxalis, black currant and olive oil. The licorice- and chocolate heavy stout together with the distinguished salty and slightly acidic taste of oysters (although they didn’t add any acidity) was a 1 + 1 = 3 experience that without a doubt got those dopamine centers in my brain firing! 

I continued with the duck as well, and washed it down with a rather fruity – and for me totally perfect – red wine on carignan grapes from Roussillon- Languedoc in south of France called Le temps des Gitans. Over dinner I enjoyed a conversation with the regular who sat next to me. Turns out she’s a sommelier and we got straight into talking about wine and beverage in general.

The family-vibe embraced me as I entered LIVS, and it lingered through out the whole evening. Especially since my best friend joined me, who’s also a good friend of Martin and Miriam. It was a great evening. Very calm, very delightful. If you’re in Stockholm, pay LIVS a visit and enjoy the ambience, the beer, the exquisite cuisine and the venue. And pay some attention to the art hanging on the walls. It’s unique and intriguing. I especially liked the squint-eyed horse in the restroom!


/Tina Shine


Or Swedish mulled wine or glühwine is basically the same thing but with another sweetness and depth in flavour that it’s English and German sister concoctions. Glögg is a brew name after the Swedish word glödga, which means “to mull” and it’s inevitably then served steaming hot.

I love this drink! Every end-of-the-year this cozy, sweet and yet spicy hot beverage is like a mid winter guide leading up to Christmas and I’m very grateful for Blossa’s generosity, having sent me two bottles of Blossas Vinglögg and pretty much saved my Christmas. Well you can get glögg in IKEA in Germany, but it’s a low quality one and can pretty much be compared to the glühwine and it just doesn’t tickle my fancy really. So blessed be Blossa!

If you fancy some glögg in these times Nordic Spirits offers the whole range of Blossa, luckily 🙂

“According to an old tradition, glögg was made by dipping a sugarloaf in spirits and mulling it in spiced wine, the preparation method from which the drink got its name. The citrus fruits, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and ginger used to season glögg were also common spices in the late 1800s.”

Well, there you go!



Ral8022 and Radio Raheem Milan

I went to Milan last weekend to get away from Berlin one last time before 2019 (well I’m going to Stockholm next week but since that’s home it doesn’t really count) and to indulge in the Italian aperitivo culture. Prior to the trip I contacted the bar of Radio Raheem Milan – an online radio station where my friend and colleague Celina Dzyacky once DJed. The bar is called Ral8022 and it’s a color code for a kinda dirty black or brown/greyish black, and when I emailed them they phoned me up and said they’d be happy to have me in their bar!

I arrived last Thursday and even though it’s december and rather cold, it was sunny and you know, not as cold as Berlin or Stockholm anyway! I was happy to be in city I never visited before, to get exposed to something new. The city is not known for being one of the more beautiful Italian cities, but it was still beautiful – and Italian enough for me 🙂


The night was kinda slow due to a national holiday, which ment I got to spend lots of time with the guests and with my colleagues for the night. They took so good care of me and despite some language difficulties we joined together through body language, some translation and of course.. shots!

So I made two cocktails through out the Friday night. Both of them with Fernet Branca, since it’s one of Milans trademarks and one of the most famous amaors (bitters) there is. It’s a challenge to work with, due to it’s strong and very bitter flavour, but I nailed it, of course! 😉


A big thank you to Silvio, Pierre, Simone, Sonia, Paco, Emilio and Camilla at Ral8022 and Radio Raheem Milan for inviting me. I had a blast! ♥️

OP Anderson Aquavit goes Berlin

Every year in the beginning of October, the worlds largest bar convent is held in Berlin, named simply Bar Convent Berlin – or BCB – and this over-10000-visitors-fair turns the German capital into a Mecka for people of the bar industry, who make their pilgrimage from all corners of the world. During a few nights bars around the city throw parties together with bartenders and brands in connection to the fair, and these collaborations often get quite out of hand – don’t we all know it’s no use challenging a bartender in a drinking contest! Not that these parties are necessarily a means to measure how much of a product (booze) can be consumed within a certain time-frame, but it sure is a way for producers and bartenders to shine while showing off their specific brand and their various skills – and to drink, to have fun! End of the day, that’s what it’s all about. And who wouldn’t want to take home the title of “last man standing” at any given party, right?

When my friend and colleague Niklas Langen, the Swedish brand ambassador for OP Anderson Aquavit, called me up a few months ago to ask if I wanted to throw an Akvavit party with them in connection with BCB at Melody Nelson Bar, my working place in the district called Mitte in Berlin, I immediately said yes. Not only do I love to create events but I really like OP Anderson as a product since it’s a Swedish brand that me and every other Swede recognise from all traditions we ever celebrate, so nostalgia has one part in the reasoning for throwing an aquavit party in Berlin, and the other reason is the line up of bartenders we were going to invite to make cocktails through out the night in the venue.

So, we invited six bartenders from four different establishments in Sweden; Tom Surma and Madeleine Åkerlund from Familjen in Gothenburg, Robin Ogestadh from  Asian Post Office teamed up with Jonas Ericsson from Brasserie Godot in Stockholm and Josephine Sondlo and Alex Skarlen from Bar Hommage, Stockholm. They brought their own menus with two drinks each and slang their specials for two hours before the next team took over. All cocktails were based on OP Anderson Aquavit.

Prior to the event, when Niklas informed me that the bar manager of Bar Hommage, Ola Carlson, who also is a friend of mine, was going to DJ the whole night, I almost fell of my perch. Ola is an excellent music selector, playing anything from funk to house and disco, strictly on vinyl, always with a groove. He asked me what kind of music would suit Melody Nelson, and I told him whatever he plays in Bar Hommage will be perfect in our bar too. He, and all the bartenders, truly delivered. Another guy who nailed it on the night in question was chef Anders Isaksson, a talented freelancer chef who recently organised a series of pop-ups called “Smör Kiosken”. He was serving Swedish delicacy canapés including mini-Skagen and Gubbröra (I’m not going to go further into what that is, but I can reveal, as many other Swedish delicacies, that it contains fish and/or seafood) on the pavement outside the bar, and since the night was strangely warm for the season, the party was happening as much out there on the street as indoors.

At midnight, however, we closed the doors and turned the place up side down. I was taking pictures, bar-backing, entertaining and yelling out “don’t forget to tip your bartenders!” when my Melody Nelson colleagues Celina Dzyacky and Freddie Jidlow eventually took over the show around 2 am and all the guest bartenders had done their jobs! The variety of bartenders and cocktails through out the night truly made the party a success, I must humbly inform you of.

And then, in the end, I found myself being the last woman standing at the party. Well, but that’s simply because I was on duty and had to help close the bar after the last guests left 😉 The last standing guest, however, who’s the winner and who truly deserves the epithet “last man standing” was Christian Dominguez, bar manager at Mace, New York! Well done Christian! Congratulations! 😀

Yours truly,
Tina Shine


Ehhhhehehe I love this ⚔

Tina Shine’s culinary hotspots – Hong Kong

Tina Shine’s culinary hotspots – Hong Kong 🔥

In the two weeks I spent working on a consulting job in Hong Kong in December 2017 I only had time to visit a few of the city’s many gastronomic hideaways. The idea is to add on to this list when I have the opportunity to go back and visit for example Lobster Bar & Grill, Stockton and Quinary. And The Flying Elk HK which even though I haven’t visited it yet, it’s on my list here – simply because I’m very exited that they opened in June 2018 and that my friends from Stockholm have made the cocktail concept there.


THE OLD MAN – 37-39 Aberdeen Street, Soho, Central
This is THE bar! I think it’s only been around for a couple of years but it has already reached global recognition – and it should. The cocktail menu might be a bit long and “complicated” but it’s brilliant. Very interesting techniques, presentation and flavours. I would go early evening, weekday, since it so popular and gets full quickly. Try to sit near the bartenders for the entertainment of watching these guys work. Placed 5 in Asia’s 50 best bars 2018
➡️ THE OLD MAN Instagram

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THE PONTIAC – 13 Old Bailey St, Central

This is such a cool bar. I was only there once for a drink before dinner so I don’t know the late night vibe in there but I bet it gets pretty funky. Girl bartenders with ‘attitude’ 😉 Placed 31 in Asia’s 50 best bars 2018
➡️ THE PONTIAC Instagram

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PASTIS – 65 Wyndham Street, Central

This is a traditional french neighbourhood bar/bistro. Busy in a relaxed kinda way. Have a seat, or stand, at the bar. Drink pastis or mauresque if you like (I don’t like it) or just have a beer or a wine. This place is authentic and fun. I didn’t try the food, but I would for sure when I go back to Hong Kong.
➡️ PASTIS Instagram

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DJAPA – 12 Kut Shing Street, Chai Wan

This is such a weird place. My friend told me the group who owns this place is loaded and that this restaurant is merely an expression of the owners interest in brazilian food, Japanese whiskey and (somewhat tacky) art. Although a few pieces were really nice. When I was there they had an piece by Yayoi Kusama (!) in the restaurant on the second floor which was kinda humbling. Djapa is basically a whiskey collection and a gallery that also offers really tasty food. You must try it! The music playing in the background is really bad (commercial electronic/pop if I recall), but it somehow fits the place – which makes me kinda annoyed but also I have to sort of ‘give it to them’ u know… And yeah, have a whisky after dinner.
➡️ DJAPA Instagram


BUENOS AIRES POLO CLUB – 7/F LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham St, Central
To enter this place you take an elevator from outside the building and it takes you to the restaurant on the 7th floor. This is a speakeasy restaurant and bar (‘hidden’, no windows) and it’s yeah a argentinian polo club basically. I didn’t try their food but I hear it’s good but a bit overrated. The cocktails doesn’t really impress but they’re all fine. Have a seat at the bar and have at least one Fernet Branca shot! they are served from a tiny metal flask in a little cold metal boot. Cute.


DR FERN’S GIN PARLOUR15 Queen’s Road, Central, First Basement Floor
Also a speakeasy, this one specialised in gin. Try some different gin tonics and drill the bartenders on their gin knowledge. It’s a beautiful place. The old ‘apothecary’ style is quite charming and it’s definitely worth a visit. But that’s all I have to say 🙂


FRANTZÉN’S KITCHEN – 11 Upper Station St, Sheung Wan
This is art. My best ever food experience! It’s proper fine dining and it’s Swedish!! Or nordic at least (with Asian influences). I’m not even gonna try to explain the flavours as you simply have to experience it for your self. It’s a set menu with like 9 dishes coming in one after another on a timed ‘schedule’ and each dish is paired with a different wine. If you go here, keep in mind the bill with land around 5 – 600€ for two persons. The Franzén restaurant in Stockholm has three Guide Michelin stars and I don’t think the Hong Kong establisment has a lower standard on their creations.

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THE FLYING ELK HONG KONG – 32 Wyndham St, Central
This is also a Björn Frantzén restaurant and bar with a sister establishment in Stockholm. It just opened earlier this year and I’m so dying to go!!! This is less pricy than Franzéns kitchen, and you can go there only for cocktails too.

SPIGA – Lht Tower Podium, 3/F, Central

An Italian restaurant where my friend Julien Zampieri is head pastry chef! I never had the opportunity to dine here when I was in HK, unfortunately, but Julien says it’s the best!
➡️ SPIGA Instagram

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